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An Update on the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council (SPLC)

Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD, Chair

The primary mission of the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council (SPLC) is the development of collaborative relationships between SBM and other scientific and professional organizations.  We identify those organizations where the mutual goal is to accelerate innovations in behavioral medicine through science, practice, and policy, according to Sara Knight, our former Chair. At present, we have collaborations with more than fifteen organizations, including the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM), the American Pain Society (APS), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the National Communications Association (NCA), the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and Computer Human Interaction (CHI).  Recently, we collaborated with the American College of Epidemiology to co-invite a behavioral scientist to present at their annual meeting.  At present, we are actively developing collaborations with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG), and are expanding our communications with the Cochrane Collaboration.

The SPLC often works alongside the SIGs, such as Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine, Health Decision Making, and Physical Activity, to effect these external collaborations. Members of the Council are often active in (or chairs of) the relevant SIGs, and work with the SPLC to identify, develop, grow, and maintain these relationships.  The SPLC also supports newly emerging SIGs within SBM such as Health Decision Making (Society for Medical Decision Making) and Military and Veterans' Health (Department of Defense, Veterans Health Administration).

The selection of external organizations with which the SPLC collaborates depends in part upon several factors:  SBM Board or SIG interest, overlap in membership, shared aims, a history of associations, and a champion for the linkage. While linkages are developed across SBM, particularly alongside the SIGs, generally, an SPLC champion facilitates them. The SPLC member may also support the ongoing collaborative activities of other SBM members through providing guidance on negotiation with the leaders of the other society or by facilitating linkages with the SBM Board of Directors, the Program Committee, or a relevant SIG.  

By linking SBM to relevant external organizations, these collaborations can further expand professional networks for SBM members, or create new opportunities by enhancing communication between SBM and external societies or agencies.  Past SPLC collaborations have contributed to joint policy briefs and publications.  At our monthly meetings, we discuss strategies to develop and nurture liaison relationships; these approaches will soon be formalized in an SPLC manual of policies and procedures.  Importantly, over the coming year, the SPLC plans to work alongside the Membership Council to enhance mentorship of newer/junior SBM members by highlighting linkage skills. 

These associations—both formal and informal-- often yield symposia, seminars, and special panel discussions that are presented at the SBM Annual Meeting.  At present, we are planning our symposia for the 2014 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia; we welcome your suggestions.

At the 2013 Annual Meeting, the SPLC co-sponsored the following four symposia;   Sara Knight, Ph.D. was discussant on the first two of them:  (1) a Featured Symposium entitled, “Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and Partners: Improving Patient Outcomes through Behavioral Medicine Research,” chaired by SPLC member Suzanne O’Neill, PhD; with presenters; Thomas K. Houston, MD, MPH,   Mary E. Cooley, RN, PhD, and Joe V. Selby, MD, MPH (PCORI).  (2) A symposium on “Integration and Innovation for Behavioral Health Interventions in Primary Care,” chaired by SPLC member, Jennifer K. Carroll, MD, with presenters Amireh Ghorob, MPH RYT, Frank deGruy, MD MSFM, Larry Green, MD, and Kurt Stange, MD PhD.   (3) “Coordinating Cancer Care: What Have We Learned from Twenty Years of Empirical Studies?” was chaired by Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD, new SPLC chair, with presenters:  Paul Han, MD, MA, MPH, Kathryn McDonald, PhD, David Haggstrom, MD, MAS, and discussant Steven B. Clauser, PhD. (4) “Pain Management in the Primary Care Setting: Utilizing Technology to Meet the Challenges, ”was chaired by  Martin Cheatle, PhD, SPLC member, with presenters  Kathleen Darchuk, PhD and Mark Vogel, PhD.  All of these symposia participants were feted at a delicious dinner with our Scientific and Professional Liaison Council members.

You are welcome to learn about and participate with the SPLC.  Our current and proposed members include: Drs. Jennifer Carroll, Martin Cheatle, David Goodrich, Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, Chair, Paul Jacobsen, Sara Knight, former Chair, Suzanne O'Neill, Erika Waters, and Julie Wright. 

We are looking forward to working with you to facilitate external collaborations for our SBM.

Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, Ph.D.